Todd Sprinkle led QVC’s foray into mobile commerce.
Retailers wanted m-commerce sites, and today the vendor provides them.
The message was loud and clear. “Every single one of our 50 clients has asked for mobile commerce,” says Michael Turcsanyi, president and co-founder of e-commerce platform and now m-commerce site provider OrderDynamics Corp.
It began in January when Canadian camera kingpin Henry’s, an OrderDynamics e-commerce platform client, approached the vendor and said it had been looking into mobile commerce. It had asked for and received quotes from such m-commerce luminaries as Digby and Usablenet, among others, but it wanted to know what OrderDynamics might be able to do.
At the time OrderDynamics was in its annual strategic planning process, and m-commerce was on the horizon because of requests from other clients. Henry’s put it over the top and OrderDynamics took the plunge, examining the proposals Henry’s received from the m-commerce technology vendors, giving careful consideration to what it could build, and then coming back to Henry’s with a proposal that Henry’s says offered much more functionality for roughly the same price. Henry’s launches its m-commerce site today.
OrderDynamics honed its argument in on the difference between how a number of m-commerce vendors render sites and how it would create a site. OrderDynamics pointed to m-commerce vendors that create sites by proxy, a method that takes most of the elements of an e-commerce page and maps them to an m-commerce template to create a mobile page. This method essentially makes a version of the e-commerce site that is optimized for the smaller screen.
OrderDynamics said it would create a mobile commerce site that would be free of any connections to the e-commerce site, sitting astride the e-commerce site not just for Henry’s but also the freestanding sites for five brands Henry’s operates. In this way, Turcsanyi says, the m-commerce site would not have to always be a mirror of the e-commerce site, and the vendor could more easily add mobile-oriented features to the m-commerce site.
Features it has included in the Henry’s m-commerce site include real-time shipping rate look-up in cart, promo code entry in cart, gift card redemption in cart, real-time inventory availability, real-time pricing changes, one-click checkout and personalization. Personalization is important as most OrderDynamics clients use it on their e-commerce sites, Turcsanyi says. For instance, a shopper coming to the Henry’s e-commerce site from a Google search on a Canon camera will see a banner on the landing page for Canon. OrderDynamics has enabled that same functionality on the m-commerce site.
OrderDynamics went a step ahead of many vendors and is using the up-and-coming web programming language HTML5 in its m-commerce offering. Between HTML5 and user interface code framework jQuery Mobile, the vendor is able to make its m-commerce sites touch-sensitive, meaning users can pinch and zoom and swipe their way through smartphone-based sites, something that can’t be done on most m-commerce sites.
“We and many other technology providers,” Turcsanyi says, “believe HTML5 sites are the future in commerce as opposed to mobile apps.”